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Understanding the Meaning of Maximum Medical Improvement


Posted On behalf of Pfeifer Morgan & Stesiak on Oct 14, 2021 in Personal Injury

nurse helping an elderly patientAfter suffering an injury in an accident, some victims may never fully recover. They eventually reach a point referred to as maximum medical improvement or MMI for short. While they have not fully recovered, they have recovered as much as they are likely to. Even with more treatment, they are unlikely to recover further.

But what does this mean for your injury claim?

In a free consultation, our experienced personal injury attorneys in South Bend can discuss what maximum medical improvement may mean for you, and what your legal options may be after an accident caused by someone else’s negligence.

What Does Maximum Medical Improvement Mean?

When an injury victim reaches maximum medical improvement, it means his or her injuries have healed as much as they are likely to. However, the injury victim may still require or benefit from medical care for his or her injuries.

Victims who suffer minor injuries may return to the state of health they were in prior to the accident. This would be their point of maximum medical improvement. In other cases, when injuries are more severe or permanent, MMI may not mean the victim is fully healthy. He or she may never get back to full health and may need ongoing treatment.  

For example, an accident victim who loses certain motor functions may have reached maximum medical improvement once his or her most severe injuries are healed, but the person may still be confined to a wheelchair. Although the injuries are stabilized, it does not mean he or she has returned to the same state of health as before the accident.

Who Determines When I Have Reached Maximum Medical Improvement?

Your treating doctors make this determination. If the insurance company disagrees with the conclusions reached by your doctors, they may enter a contract with a doctor to perform an Independent Medical Exam (IME) to determine the severity of your injuries. This doctor’s report may be used as evidence to dispute or deny claims from your treating doctors about the severity of your injuries and ongoing treatment needs.

How Long Does It Take to Reach Maximum Medical Improvement?

Every person is different, so it is difficult to determine how long it may take an injury victim to reach maximum medical improvement. It will depend on the severity of your injuries, how well you respond to treatment and how well you are following medical advice for recovery.

Some injury victims who suffer a severe injury may reach maximum medical improvement before others who only suffered a minor injury. That is why it is so important to not only seek medical treatment in the first place but also to keep up with your recommended treatment.

What Happens After I Reach Maximum Medical Improvement?

Once your doctor determines you have reached maximum medical improvement, he or she can determine if you may need future medical care for long-term or permanent injuries.

At this point, your attorney may be able to begin calculating the true value of your claim, taking future damages into account. It is important to get a full picture of what the total cost of your damages will be before you accept any settlement offer from the insurance company.

Call an Experienced Attorney Today

If you were injured in an accident caused by someone else’s negligent actions, you have the legal right to pursue compensation for your damages. However, the insurance company is unlikely to offer full compensation. In fact, they often make settlement offers long before the victim reaches maximum medical improvement.

This is why having an experienced attorney on your side may be highly beneficial as you seek maximum compensation. Our attorneys have decades of experience helping injury victims and have recovered millions on their behalf. We are prepared to help you maximize your compensation, too.

Call us today for a free consultation: (844) 678-1800